Australian design studio Baracco+Wright Architects, worked together with artist Linda Tegg to create ‘Grasslands Repair’ for Australia’s Venice Architecture Biennale pavilion, a 10,000-plant recreation of the grasslands of southeast Victoria.
The indoor installation spans a lot of the pavilion and extends into its outdoor space, with walkways that allow audiences to move among the 65 classes of Western Plains Grasslands plants.
The topic for the 2018 Biennale (which opened in May) is”Repair,” that was described in a press release as a way of considering how structure can”play a role in fixing the places its part of.” Just 1 percent of those grasslands of mid-18th century Victoria still exists– largely the result of urbanization and industrial land use — for Baracco, Wright, and Tegg, Grasslands Repair indicates the actual cost of human land occupation. “The area of plants exhibited is very similar to that consumed by the pavilion,” that the curators stated. “It is also a smaller place than that of a typical Australian household home. Such an area takes around an hour to bulldoze.”
Supporting the living backyard from above is an installation called Skylight, which uses LEDs as a natural light source since the ceiling and walls of the structure block the sun. Through the Biennale, films that explore the subject of Repair are screened to the walls of the Grasslands Repair installation, including Ground, Baracco+Wright and Tegg made that in collaboration with David Fox. Without the history of the area for circumstance, the installation is just another indoor garden perfectly suited to selfies, but using all the understanding of what human interaction has done to native species, it turns into a call to action to attempt to undo the harm we have done.